being arizona tourists…

photo1it’s funny how having friends come to visit makes you take time to enjoy your everyday surroundings.  this past week we did exactly that with our friends gary & glenda from south africa during their first visit to arizona!  it was an awesome time of fun, food, and friendship.  there is so much to see in our beautiful state – here are a few highlights of our arizona adventures…

jerome

day one: we took a scenic drive up through the mountains to my favorite hillside town of jerome, arizona.  this eclectic ghost town actually has several quaint shops, unique restaurants, wine bars, and views of the verde valley.  we stopped for lunch at the haunted hamburger, a little shopping and some wine tasting…

pano sedona

we made our way down the mountain to spectacular sedona, arizona.  this red rock wonderland is simply a breathtaking experience for anyone who encounters it’s beauty.  the amazing formations that jet out from the earth up to the skies in majestic proportion, and the most incredible thing is that your surroundings seem to change based on your viewing perspective.  gary couldn’t get enough of this and we literally turned the car around 5 different times to drive back through sedona stopping along the road so he could take photos.  he was so into capturing his panoramic photos that i started calling him “professor pano” – it was really funny to see how excited he was each time he captured a different view (great photos gary)…

cactus

arizona is truly amazing with the various vegetation throughout the state from the cactus of the desert to the pines of the mountains. taking time to literally stop to see the flowers (even though they grow on cactus here) is a beauty all it’s own…

glenda

day two: today we decided to stay in our hometown of prescott, arizona and do a little shopping, spend time in the studio, and simply enjoy our time together.  it was great fun to share all of the new products released this year and i couldn’t resist literally filling up glenda’s suitcase with the latest distress, sizzix, stampers anonymous, idea-ology, and a new stella light.  after all, they are always such gracious hosts to us during our visits to south africa so i was happy to show appreciation in return…

food

no doubt the most anticipated part of each day were the evenings.  after being out all day, we would return home and mario would start creating the most incredible meals with gary keeping him company in the kitchen, and glenda and i sneaking away to the studio.  he wowed us with homemade everything including: bbq ribs, brisket, salad, carnitas, fajitas, guacamole, salsa, penne paste, chicken parmesan, and the amazing grilled cheese with bbq, macaroni & cheese, carmelized onions…bravo mario!  of course one of the perks of having friends visit from south africa were the amazing wines they brought.  there’s nothing better than sharing great food and wine with friends that’s for sure…

canyon canyon1

day three: we hit the road in the morning to make our way to the grand canyon – the highlight of the trip.  it was a perfectly sunny day with beautiful blue skies, the perfect backdrop for the spectacular views of the canyon.  this was only my second time visiting this national wonder and it was still breathtaking.  we spent the afternoon hiking about 3 miles along the south rim of the canyon and enjoyed lunch at bright angel…

canyon2

the scenery was nothing short of amazing so mario and i decided to hike out on a cliff overlooking the canyon and this photo was totally worth it – wow!  an incredible finale to a great visit with our friends, and a reminder to “remember the now” more often…t!m

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